My Monday Face is a series here on Cocoon that covers my ever-growing obsession with beauty products and how I use them for fun, even on Mondays.

I’ve finished my third month here in tropical Singapore, and man! It has been warm. Now I might just be a spoiled Northern Californian here, but every time I step outside, I swear the humidity will suck out my soul. Traveling and living in a region notorious for its heat, I keep the makeup collection as pared-down as my heart can stand. I won’t lie; it’s been hard— last month I had a blissful dream about the rest of my cosmetics which no doubt lies packed up on a shelf somewhere in my sisters’ room. However, with term papers and heavily weighted finals galore, I find myself wearing less and less paint on my face every week. Here’s typically what I bring while I’m traveling— the ultimate minimal stash, a capsule wardrobe but for face stuff.

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(From left): Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, Tweezerman Eyelash Curler, Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, Colourpop Highlighter in Wisp, IBY Beauty Eyeshadow Palette in Three’s Company, NYX Microbrow Pencil in Black, Nivea Lip Balm, Colourpop Ultra Matte Lips in Bumble, Wild Nothing, Saigon

A lot of these products have been featured in previous posts; no wonder, because they’re my tried-and-true. I brought three backups of my NYX Microbrow; though at this point I don’t even do my brows every day anymore, I remember a devastating morning last semester where I was getting ready for work around 6am and as I twisted up the brow pencil, it had run out. I kid you not, I immediately broke into a cold sweat. Now I know that seems dramatic, but as a reformed hooligan (more on that in the future), I can say even I would tease me for my eyebrows. After that chilling incident, I vowed never to be unprepared for an eyebrow pencil shortage again. The day NYX stops selling their Microbrow is the day I shave my eyebrows off. (Don’t hold me to that; please, I’m begging you.)

Milani’s Luminoso is extremely popular in the beauty world for good reason. It’s the perfect peachy flush of color and has a permanent spot in my spring/summer rotation. There’s something magical about the way it just lifts one’s appearance. Since the weather inevitably dooms me to perspiration, I figured I might as well continue on the glowy trajectory. I really enjoy Colourpop’s Wisp for this— it’s a bit too gold while I’m in Boston, but now that I’ve significantly browned, it’s the perfect champagne shimmer. Sweat or highlight? Definitely both.

I’ve been favoring a sort of smudgy eye for a good amount of time now, and I use the matte brown in the travel-friendly IBY Beauty palette with my finger. Honestly, I just rub that one color all around my eye and call it a day. It’s the perfect color and formula, toeing the line between warm and cool, pigmented and blendable. The shimmer shades in the palette are good as well; I hardly touch them for efficiency’s sake. The messy, easy vibe I’m going for is finished with several coats of Benefit’s They’re Real!, a cult favorite. To be honest, Maybelline’s Lash Sensational has and continues to be my favorite mascara by far, but They’re Real! isn’t too bad either. I find it does a good job of lifting the lashes and staying put, though Lash Sensational holds a curl better.

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I promise, the alleged browning has happened. My windowsill just has great lighting.

Finishing off with lipstick, my love. These three liquid lips from Colourpop are the only lip products I brought to Singapore with me; clearly I wasn’t thinking about formula diversity. I haven’t missed a proper, standard lipstick this much in ages. Though these tend to be on the drier side, their lasting power is undeniable and the colors are all beautiful. Bumble is a bright rose, Wild Nothing a plummy brown. After getting bored of the full-on effect liquid lipsticks tend to have, I now often wear these shades smeared over a thick layer of lip balm, which makes them much more moisturizing and creates a nice faded look that I’ve been favoring. Saigon is the punchiest red I own and screams “Instagram me; I look like vacation!”

And that’s it for my makeup capsule collection. It’s all about brush-free application and lots of smearing around. Stay tuned for product reviews and actual looks once I return to the States!

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